The Best Tools for Picking Your Skin the Right Way

We know we told you never to pop your pimples, but...

pimple popping
(Image credit: Getty Images/PeopleImages)

Nail biting. Skin peeling. Hair plucking. Pimple popping. These self-grooming habits can be weirdly gratifying, and many of us are guilty of succumbing to the urges. I mean, it just feels so good. So good, in fact, that it can become excessive and lead to bleeding, sores, and scarring. According to celebrity esthetician and founder of her eponymous skincare collection Renée Rouleau, “You have to realize that, although you can’t always control breakouts from appearing, you can control what happens when you get the breakout. The truth of the matter is, a blemish usually lasts five to seven days. But the redness or dark scar [that results] from picking at the blemish can linger for weeks—even months.”

Whether it’s an absentminded habit or a full-blown case of excoriation disorder, it's important that your skin picking is practiced with extreme caution. “There is a life cycle to a blemish and when you interfere with this process (by picking at the wrong time or using a super drying spot treatment), you’re actually making it last so much longer,” says Rouleau. “Work in sync with the various stages of the blemish so that you’re an ally and not an enemy.” Wait until your pimple has a head to extract and always use proper, sanitized tools. Shop our selection of the most satisfying, safe, and effective ones, below.

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Hana Hong is the beauty assistant at Marie Claire, where she covers skincare, makeup, and haircare, and is identifiable by her signature cateye.